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E05163: Fragmentary Latin epitaph with a tentatively restored formula invoking the 'peace with (unnamed) saints' to the deceased. Found in a small cemetery 'ad Vibiam' on the via Appia, Rome. Late antique.

online resource
posted on 2018-03-06, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
- - -] C [- - -
Sterco[riu]s qui vi[xit - - -]
alumn[o su]o Nice

'[- - -] Stercorius who lived [- - -] to his well-deserved nurseling Nice[- - -].'

The missing line 1 was hypothetically restored by Antonio Ferrua as [p(ax) t(ibi)] c(um) [s(anctis)]/'peace be to you with saints!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., V, no. 15307 = EDB1619.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, unnamed : S00518 Saints, unnamed : S00518 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Children Other lay individuals/ people


Four fragments of a marble plaque, forming two non-conjoining parts. Dimensions: H. 0.125 m; W. 0.235 m; Th. 0.015 m (left-hand part); H. 0.25 m; W. 0.17 m; Th. 0.015 m (right-hand part). Letter height c. 0.04 m. First recorded by Antonio Ferrua in 1952 in area A5 of the burial complex called Cemeteries 'ad Vibiam', a common name for 'three or four' smaller cemeteries on the via Appia. Now probably still in its find-spot. First published by Ferrua in 1971.


Ferrua's restoration of the text is entirely hypothetical, based on similar formulas used in Christian epitaphs of the city of Rome. Even it is correct, it would be difficult to say whether the author of the epitaph meant that the deceased was buried ad sanctos, in a way that he would profit from this fact in the afterlife, or simply expressed a wish that the deceased would join the saints in heaven.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB1619, see De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 5: Coemeteria reliqua Viae Appiae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1971), no. 15307.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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